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Is this on-topic:

I tried to match the sound of this song but it sounds very different, what am I missing?

As it stands, the question and answer are completely specific to this one song, so it seems like it's not useful to other users.

Would it be better if the question were more along the lines of, "when trying to re-create a song, how do I figure out what I'm missing?" so it's more general?

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As it stands, the question and answer are completely specific to this one song, so it seems like it's not useful to other users.

I'd agree that It isn't useful to other users in the sense that other users are very unlikely to come to the site with the same issue with the same song. It's also perhaps not all that likely to be a highly-ranked search hit.

However, it could be useful in the sense that users who do come across the question might find it an interesting case study, and someone (or maybe more than one) might gain satisfaction from answering. In this case the number of upvotes signify to me that this particular question is useful to other users, in this sense.

Would it be better if the question were more along the lines of, "when trying to re-create a song, how do I figure out what I'm missing?" so it's more general?

I think the lack of specifics would make that too broad. Often the devil is in the detail.

Is this on-topic?

I think I can see why you ask. This kind of question is somewhat close to something like "here's my original composition/my performance - how did I do?", which I don't think is usually seen as on topic, and also touches on the "Identify this sound" type question, which we decided to kick over to Sound Design.SE.

As a site we seem to have decided that we're wary of questions that don't become easily-searchable additions to the "knowledge base", so we slightly lean away from the "this is my very specific problem" kind of questions that some SE sites do try to tackle.

From what I can see, the user base here often seems happy to leave things fuzzy and take things case-by-case. If that's true, then I guess the upvotes mean that this one is fine..?

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    I for one thought this sounded more like a question for Sound Design. The music had already been written, arranged, played and recorded, and the answers that were expected were not like "use a simpler bass line" but like "use a different reverb". – Your Uncle Bob Jul 3 at 21:11
  • @YourUncleBob suggesting that this q is more at home on sound design would be in line with the site policy of migrating "how do I make this sound?" questions over there. There's definitely a logic to it, but at the same time I personally still see both "use a simpler bass line" and "use a different reverb" as musical considerations, so it also seems a slightly awkward dividing line to me. – topo Reinstate Monica Jul 4 at 6:46
  • @YourUncleBob I have always had the belief that there is a lot of overlap between here and Sound Design. To me something is on-topic there and not here when it's about non-musical sounds, such as sound effects for video, foley, etc. Also anything specifically about audio for video, even including musical elements can be a lot more on-topic there than here. To me, questions about designing sounds for music, whether it's synth sounds, guitar sounds, mixing choices (reverb) or anything else, are on-topic both places, if they are on-topic at all. – Todd Wilcox Jul 5 at 21:17
  • @ToddWilcox I agree that some questions can be on-topic on both sites. I also think that that is a confusing situation, and we should either make a clear distinction or merge the sites. (But I've come to accept that SE is going the same route as usenet, and we're lucky that there isn't already a "music", "alt.music" and "alt.music.unmoderated".) – Your Uncle Bob Jul 5 at 21:49

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